Issue #31 / ref.
The Summer issue of Foam Magazine reflects deeply on
relationships between photography and reference. Ref. presents
eight portfolios which refer each in their own way to other photos,
a specific visual style or language, or to stereotypical visual
elements that we recognize from other photographic genres. They are
all portfolios that recognize that nothing exists in splendid
Included is a major portion of the project
Then & Now by the prominent American artist
Ed Ruscha. After the creation of Every Building
on Sunset Strip, an icon of conceptual art, Ruscha
photographed every building of Hollywood Boulevard in 1973. After
31 years, he photographed the same route again, but this time in
colour. The result is an unique visual historiography of modern
The road trip, too, is undeniably part of both
American culture and photographic heritage. With disarming
enthusiasm, Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs embrace this
great photographic cliché and turn it into a refreshing amalgam of
humor, irony, admiration, reflection and pastiche.
In his eight meticulously constructed tableaus,
the Canadian artist Stan Douglas imagined scenes that
could have been lived in Angola and New York sometime during the
Just as carefully staged are the images by
Alex Prager. The scenes she shows have an ominous
familiarity, but the influences are never apparent.
Victoria Binschtok looks to a
common and widespread cliché image - the bodyguard who appears as a
shadow behind a prominent person; preferably invisible, but at the
same time very much in attendance.
Taysir Batniji, using the
objective, methodical process of Bernd and Hilla Becher,
systematically photographed the Israeli watchtowers from which
surveillance of the Palestinian people is carried out.
The Japanese photographer Hisaji
Hara has produced a series in which he meticulously
re-creates the provocative paintings of Balthus in his own unique
The references contained in the strongly
iconoclastic work of Michael Schirner are short,
general descriptions of iconic photographic images everyone can
remember. It is that mental process that is the essence of this
Finally, we are extremely pleased that famed
filmmaker and lover of photography Wim Wenders was
able to take the time for an extensive interview. We are convinced
that once again an issue of Foam Magazine has been
created that can confidently stand the test of time.